Notice my contact info to the right, if you want to contact me with any questions. I would also like to say that I do attempt to give credit where credit is due. I do not make any claims to cakes in my blog except the ones in my slideshow. If I show a cake I will try to post some type of identifer with it, however, if I don't know who posted the cake it is impossible for me to do that. I am only using the cake to illustrate a specific technique.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Transfers can be an inexpensive decorating medium

One way to decorate cakes is by using transfers.  These are fairly simple to make and, as well, are fairly inexpensive to make.  There are at least three types of transfers.  There are chocolate transfers (these are a little more expensive due to the price of chocolate), frozen buttercream transfers, and royal icing (or color flow) transfers.

Transfers are all basically done in the same manner.  You start with a printed image (in reverse of the image you want).  It will be done in reverse because the side facing you will actually be the back side of your project.  You will need the following tools:  Printed image in reverse, wax paper, tape, and whatever type of medium you are using (chocolate, buttercream, or royal icing).

Begin by taping your printed image to a flat surface (bottom of cake pan, cookie sheet, cutting board).  Then tape your wax paper over the printed image.  Once attached, use whatever medium you have choosen to outline the image.  Here's where things start to differ a little.
If you are using chocolate, after doing the outline you can stick in the fridge for a few moments to harden up the chocolate.  Then remove from frig and finish filling in the rest of the print.  Allow it to firm up and remove from wax paper (this step will be covered later).

If you are using buttercream, you can stick it in the frig or freezer for a few minutes to stiffen up the outline, and then finish filling in the print.  Once the print is filled use a toothpick to fill remove any air bubbles or pockets to completely filled.  Once the image is completely filled and air bubbles are removed, place in the freezer for no less then 45 minutes to completely freeze the image.  Once completely frozen it can be removed from the wax paper (this step will be covered later), but it must be placed immediately on the cake before the image starts to thaw.

If you are using royal icing, you will need to let it dry slightly (the amount of time will vary depending on the printed images size).  Once the icing has dried enough to hold its shape, you can continue filling in the rest of the printed image.  Allow the image to completely dry (this step takes longer for royal icing...up to 48 hours or more depending on size of the image).  Once dried, remove from paper (this step will be covered later) and place on cake.

Removing the Image from the Wax Paper:

This step is basically the same for each medium, but it must be kept in mind that when dealing with the frozen will want to work as quickly as possible to avoid thawing.

First you will need to remove the wax paper from the flat surface you have attached it to.   Gently pull the paper loose from the front the part of the image that is facing you.  Lie the image on the edge of your countertop.  Slowly pull the paper down over the edge of the countertop.  This will pull the image forward off the edge of the countertop.  Place your other hand under the image to catch it.  Continue pulling the paper downward until the image pulls loose from paper.  Flip the image over and place it on the cake or other flat surface until ready to use. Remember...if you are working with a frozen buttercream transfer, you must put it on the cake immediately, because they thaw very quickly.

Click on the highlighted words to see examples of chocolate transfer this photo belongs to mommawants1more and was uploaded to flickr, frozen buttercream transfers uploaded by Dawn on Cake Central, and royal icing or color flow transfer on Let's get caking's blogpost.  I am not taking any of the credit for these images, I am simply using them as samples of the different types of transfers.  I hope I gave adaquate credit where credit was due.

Check out this transfer I recently did of "Pablo" in my slideshow to see a royal icing transfer I did.
I hope you will give them a try.  As you can see from the samples, they can achieve great decorating results for both cake and cupcakes.  Happy decorating!